When your garden has been around for a few years, you start to notice . . . the abundance.
Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in the garden . . . managing my "volunteers corps."
See the hostas in the photo above? ALL of them are divisions of other hostas.
"Volunteers" just show up.
See those two spruce trees in the photo above? I didn't plant them. They just . . . appeared . . . a few years ago. Tiny, tiny little trees that began from a cone that dropped in my garden.. I decided to just let them go and see what happened. Now, they're both over 8 feet tall and add to the plant diversity of my woodsy area. Keepers!
Some plants self-seed all over the place. This geranium, for example.
Several years ago, it was a nice, compact well-behaved plant. Now . . . it is everywhere in my garden. It seeds itself. . . and sometimes I let it stay. It has a way of adding a nice little pop of color here and there. Sometimes I yank it out. . . .
Same with my butterfly weed.
I gave it an inch. It's taking a mile! But I like it, so I keep a lot of it. The color is wonderful -- bright orange -- and it is one of the only food sources for the Monarch butterfly. I pull what I don't want, and share the rest with friends.
Other plants have "volunteer" offspring. Entirely separate plants that can be transplanted elsewhere. This hellebores, for example. . .
begat a "helle-baby"!
Same with this ligularia. . .
and stonecrop sedum. . .
and brunnera. . .
and even a spirea!
I'll be digging up and transplanting all of these new "volunteer children" . . . elsewhere in my garden.
Sometimes, if you look really closely, you can even find "volunteers" hiding . . . and a long, long way from home!
This year, I'm working hard to manage my "volunteer corps" of plants -- moving and transplanting and thinning. It's good for the garden, great fun for the gardener, and really stretches the garden budget.